Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a spate of unemployment information broken out by metropolitan area, and the table it released enables us to compare unemployment rates from last month to March of 2011.
It’s quite obvious, from looking at the Louisiana data, that claims by the Obama administration and the Left of a limited or nonexistent impact on jobs arising from the president’s post-Deepwater Horizon policies are simply untrue.
The moratorium on offshore drilling, and the subsequent permitorium in which oil and gas exploration in the Gulf has been strangled by federal red tape in the permitting process, has had a devastating effect on the state’s economy. Unemployment is up from 2010 in every one of the state’s markets.
Take, for example, the New Orleans area. In March 2010, that market was sitting on a 6.6 percent civilian unemployment rate. This year, it’s at 7.9 percent. That’s a 1.3 percent jump in 12 months, which is gigantic. In fact, it’s one of the largest jumps in the country.
But New Orleans’ ugly number isn’t the worst in the state. That would belong to Baton Rouge, which saw a jump from 6.6 percent to 8.2 percent. That 1.6 percent jump was the worst in the United States over the course of the one-year period. That makes Baton Rouge the worst job market collapse in the United States of America over the last 12 months.
In Lafayette, the jump was sizable as well – from 5.5 percent to 6.3 percent. Things were even worse in Lake Charles, which went from 6.3 percent to 7.2 percent. In Houma, the figure went from 5.0 percent to 5.8 percent.
North Louisiana didn’t fare any better. In Alexandria, the jump was from 6.5 percent to 7.7 percent, in Monroe it was from 7.1 to 8.4 and in Shreveport it went from 6.3 to 7.2.
On the whole, Louisiana saw its unemployment rate go from 6.8 percent in March of 2010 to 8.0 percent last month. The number of unemployed reported in March 2010 was 139,500; last month it was 164,600. That’s a jump of 25,000 jobless folks in 12 months. Are there factors other than the moratorium driving unemployment? Probably. Some of those might be positive factors, though. If there is another major economic driver which has moved the state’s economy south other than the federal government’s shutdown of the state’s leading industry in the last 12 months, we’re not aware of it and we probably would be since we tend to watch this stuff pretty closely.
The eight metro areas in Louisiana are eight of the 11 worst-performing areas in the country in terms of unemployment jumps. The only three non-Louisiana markets at the bottom of the chart are Idaho Falls and two border towns ravaged by the Mexican drug cartel war – Brownsville-Harlingen and Yuma.
We already know that the state’s unemployment rate in April was 6.2 percent. Our economy was moving up fairly rapidly last spring, and it was the energy industry leading the way.
During the course of the Obamoratorium/Permitorium saga, defenders of the president’s policy have repeatedly said it didn’t have an impact on the economy of the region. Those include the partisan shills at the Baton Rouge Advocate, who in February put out a propaganda piece to the effect that what the administration is doing to the oil patch has had little effect on the economy when that was clearly fantasy.
Louisiana’s economy is being bled to death by this administration and its policies on energy production. That’s pretty clear in the administration’s own numbers. Isn’t it about time somebody started telling the truth about it?